Storied stays in the English countryside don’t come more page-turning than Beaverbrook. Set within the Surrey Hills, just outside London, this fanciful, neoclassical pile was once the country home of Lord Beaverbrook, the early 20th-century owner of the Daily Express newspaper and political minister to Winston Churchill. Key wartime conclaves were held here and past guests – including Elizabeth Taylor, Rudyard Kipling and Ian Fleming – are hinted at in the opulent rooms. But this isn’t a hotel to languish in the past: interiors are by Susie Atkinson, of Soho House fame; a Japanese restaurant is run by an ex-Nobu chef; and a spa, designed by glass architect Brian Clarke, is yet to follow.
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A bottle of Beaverbrook Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine
29, divided between the House and the Garden House, including three suites.
11am; check-in 3pm. Flexible, but subject to availability. A luggage-storage room is available.
Double rooms from $333.50 (£267), excluding tax at 20 per cent.
Rates usually include breakfast, with Continental, English and à la carte options available. The Asian-style Dining Room serves Japanese omelettes with daikon, while the Garden House Restaurant has bacon sandwiches on rustic campaillou bread.
The Garden House Restaurant has a School of Cookery attached for budding chefs, with sessions for children and adults. Pick ingredients from the hotel's kitchen-garden, then learn to rustle 'Britalian' dishes with head chef Kaz Suzuki or sushi with ex-Nobu chef Taiji Maruyama. Afternoon tea is served every day from 3pm to 5pm (from 3:30pm on the weekend).
At the hotel
Library, lounge, screening room, events space, kids’ club, free WiFi, 400-acre grounds, a walled kitchen-garden, woodlands, a trout-filled lake. In rooms: fireplaces, a minimum of king-size beds or larger, flatscreen Apple TV, free Sipsmith Sloe gin, minibar, free bottled water, coffee machine, Bamford toiletries, ensuite underfloor heating, robes, slippers.
Our favourite rooms
We love the Superior Turret rooms tucked up in the eaves of the House, with a private terrace and views over the Surrey Hills. For south-facing woodland views, choose the Guest Garden House rooms, painted in bucolic shades and dressed with botanical prints, that mirror the surrounding English countryside. Ensuite bathrooms feature roll-top baths and showers come clad in glossy green tiles. On the landing, a drinks station has tea, coffee and two whisky decanters, primed for a nightcap.
The spa's 20-metre-long indoor pool is open; its outdoor twin and a smaller pool just for tots are set to open in April 2019.
The flower-filled Coach House Spa is designed by glass architect Brian Clarke and inspired by the English countryside. There are six treatment suites, a steam room, a relaxation room, sauna, hammam, indoor and outdoor pools. Take your pick of tailored massages, exfoliating body treatments and honey-infused facials – all use home-branded Coach House oils made from plants, flowers and fruits from the estate. There’s also a nail lounge and treatments designed specifically for Mr Smiths and mums-to-be. After your pampering sessions, have a leisurely snack of wood-fired flatbreads in the on-site Deli. Craving a boost of endorphins? The gym is kitted out with cardio machines, free weights and space to stretch. There’s also a rotating mix of fitness, yoga and Pilates sessions on offer.
People don’t dress up in the country – it’s all about cosy jumpers and comfortable jeans here. Even Elizabeth Taylor took the weekend off at Beaverbrook. Though, it is worth taking something to meet the smart-causal dress code at the Dining Room for dinner – shorts, flip flops and tshirts are not allowed.
Don’t miss the afternoon tea on the terrace or sofa-filled lounge. Freshly made sandwiches, Sacher torte and home-baked scones are available from Thursday to Friday (3pm-5.30pm) and at weekends (3.30pm-5.30pm).
This country-house hotel warmly welcomes four-legged friends and bowls will be provided. Dogs aren't allowed in the Main House, but are welcome in certain parts of the Garden House and Garden House Cottage. See more pet-friendly hotels in Surrey.
All ages are warmly welcomed. As well as a weekend kids’ club for 4-12 year olds and resident Sharky and George minders, there’s an outdoor play area with a treehouse and reams of child-friendly activities. Extra beds can be added from £60 a night.
Absolutely all ages: this is an all-action family hotel that caters for kids as much as adults.
The two interconnecting Guest Garden House rooms are best for families.
From crazy golf to geocaching, treasure hunts, night safaris and den building, the kids’ club has plenty to keep 5-12 year olds busy, plus resident minders Sharky and George to ensure grown ups can work their way through the wine list (cheers to that). Open on Saturdays and Sundays, it offers full day (10:30am–3pm) or half-day sessions (10am–1pm or 2pm – 5pm). The excursions list also extends to horse-riding, cycling and foraging, and there are board games, books and puzzles for rainy days.
Child-friendly options are available in the Garden Kitchen, from buttermilk pancakes at breakfast to Bolognese linguini and organic chocolate brownies at lunch and dinner.
No need to pack
Children's books, pens, pencils, paints and paper… they’re all available.
An outdoor play area is the stuff of Enid Blyton with a treehouse tucked in the woods.
The sun-warmed conservatory is the best spot in the Garden House Restaurant, with its period-style windows overlooking the grounds. In the Dining Room, snuggle up on the two-seater, olive-green banquettes, set beneath double-height corniced ceilings.
Cosy cashmere jumpers and well-worn jeans in the Garden House Restaurant. In the Dining Room, evening wear from Surrey-based boutique Feather & Stitch and sky-high heels (optional for men).
Food is one of the highlights of Beaverbrook and much care and attention has been given to its two main restaurants. In the Garden House, the Anglo-Italian Garden House Restaurant, run by chef Kaz Suzuki, has views of the grounds and cosy, cushion-stacked chairs that invite you to linger for a menu of gnoccillini with goat’s cheese and pistachio, and open ravioli with crab and squid-ink pasta. If you’re feeling hungry, the ‘Chef’s Table’ tasting menu skips through Sardinian flatbreads, Ligurian bull’s heart tomato salads with burrata, Cornish blue lobster and Calvados-infused apple tarts. In the House, the Dining Room is the more formal option, with an Japanese menu devised by ex-Nobu chef, Taiji Maruyama. The Omakase appetiser let’s you eat your way through the chef’s favourite starters and multi-course menus guide you through a range of other highlights. Prefer to go it alone? Choose from thinly sliced yellowtail tiraditos, popcorn shrimp tempura or ‘the Beaverbrook’ sushi platter.
One of the high points of Susie Atkinson’s design is the Twenties-style Parrot Bar. Dusky, peach-painted walls set the tone of this decadent drinking den, accented with velvet stools around the antique-brass, Art Deco bar, tasseled lamps, palm-print armchairs and parquet floors. An ornate bird cage will soon house a resident parrot. Equally chirpy is the drinks menu, with swoops through artisan cocktails, such as the matcha-tea-infused Pacific Pisco Sour and the signature Spitfire Collins, concocted with Sipsmith vodka and peach liqueur. Snacks of Japanese tacos, edamame and caviar are served in the bar from 6pm to 10pm and you’ll also find an honesty bar in the Garden House, too.
Breakfast is 7am-10.30am (from 7.30am at weekends). The Dining Room serves lunch (Tuesday to Friday, noon-3pm; weekends 12.30pm-3.30pm) and dinner (Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm-10pm). The all-day Garden House Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
You can order upstairs to your room anytime between 7.30am and 10pm from dishes including chicken sandwiches with tarragon mayo, asparagus with poached egg or fillet of Loch Duart salmon, with salad from the kitchen-garden and dill-infused mayonnaise.
Set in the Surrey Hills, a short spin away from the cyclists’ summit of Box Hill, Beaverbrook stands enveloped by English countryside. The views couldn't be greener, the landscape more bucolic – and yet, just outside London, it's anything but far-flung.
Two of the UK’s busiest airports are a 30-minute drive away: Gatwick to the south; Heathrow to the north.
A 10-minute drive from the hotel, Leatherhead station is serviced by regular Southern and South Western connections.
A car is great asset in the English countryside, enabling you reach tucked-away walking points and village pubs. However, at only an hour from central London (and well connected to other parts of the country), you could easily do without. There's free valet parking at the hotel.
Worth getting out of bed for
You’re cordially invited to a weekend in the country… get ready to do as much or as little as you want. The 400-acre estate surrounding Beaverbrook is primed for outdoor pursuits, from rambling in the woods to horticultural tours with the head gardener and cycling on free-to-use bicycles. Travelling with a civilised set of 10 or more? Clay pigeon shooting can be arranged on request. You can explore on four legs or two wheels, with horseriding and mountain-biking, or unearth the season’s bounty with guided foraging tours. Further afield, the steep climbs of Box Hill entice cyclists and there’s walking, running and riding in the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In spring or autumn, a trip to Winkworth Arboretum is particularly rewarding, while the village of Chiddingfold is regarded as one of England’s loveliest, with a handful of pubs and restaurants scattered around an idyllic green. Extensive eating and shopping options are available in Guildford and Godalming, but smart Chobham is the choice for quaint pubs and boutiques.
If you’re keen on drinking in rural England’s best pubs, you’ve come to the right place. The upmarket town of Chobham has several superlative options, from the fire-warmed, gastro-style Four Horseshoes to smart Stovells, which has won four AA rosettes under chef Fernando Stovell and sits within a 16th-century Tudor farmhouse. In nearby Cobham – the ritzier big sister to Chobham, 12 miles away – The Plough and The Cricketers are two contemporary takes on the English classic. Several pubs provide end (or starting) points for walks up to Leith Hill – the highest point in the Surrey Hills – including traditional coaching inn, the Abinger Hatch, cosy Volunteer Inn and secluded Stephan Langton Inn. A five-minute drive from Beaverbrook, you’ll find The Cock Inn, with an outdoor beer garden, eye-catching interiors and hearty food. Finally, drive over to the pretty village of Chiddingfold to rub shoulders with locals at The Swan. For a high-end meal, book in advance at the Michelin-pipped Clock House, run by chef Fred Clapperton, within a handsome Georgian townhouse in the village of Ripley. In Dorking, chef Steve Drake heads up Michelin-star-holding eatery Sorrel, having trained under the Roux family and Marco Pierre White.
Cyclists and walkers in search of a good cuppa and slab of cake are spoilt of choice in this swathe of Surrey. You can get afternoon tea at Treacle’s Tea Shop in Chiddingfold or stock up on local produce at The Dorking Deli in Dorking. The pretty village of Shere is a good post-walk stop in the Surrey Hills, with The Dabbling Duck providing a lovely, willow-draped patio, daytime refreshments and a refined take on afternoon tea. In the same village as the Clock House, Nest combines a café and antiques shop on Ripley’s high street.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this country-house hotel in Surrey and dusted off their Wellington boots, a full account of their rural British break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Beaverbrook in Surrey…
If walls could talk, they’d have story or two to tell about Beaverbrook. The one-time home of Canadian-born press baron Lord Beaverbrook once welcomed the world’s actresses and authors to rip-roaring weekend parties, from Elizabeth Taylor to Rudyard Kipling, Ian Fleming and HG Wells. Set within the leafy Surrey Hills, it’s walls might also whisper of the wartime meetings that were held here when Lord Beaverbrook was minister to Winston Churchill. Indeed, the spitfire symbol that now crests the hotel’s uniforms and branding nods to a time when the right honorable Max Aitken oversaw aircraft production during World War II, including the iconic single-seater plane. Hints from the building’s history percolate through every corner of the hotel, from the book-stocked library, lined with the baron’s best-loved tomes, to the Art Deco cinema and Roaring Twenties-style Parrot Bar. Rooms also pay deference to past guests, including Churchill and Lord Beaverbrook’s wife, the Dowager, who gets the full four-posted, fireplace-filled tribute. Incredible art abounds too – including a Gerhard Richter tapestry in the opulent entrance hall. But far from languishing in the past, modern flourish is what really leaves a mark, from the Italian-inspired Garden House Restaurant to the Japanese-oriented Dining Room. Soho House designer Susie Atkinson looked to the glamour of Gatsby for her interiors and then gave it an English accent. Come spring 2018, a new spa will complete the set – the final chapter in this no-luxuries-spared transformation of one of the 20th century’s most storied houses.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Beaverbrook’s Guestbook below.
The whole experience – from the champagne on arrival and beautiful setting, to the delicious food at the Japanese Dining Room restaurant, the relaxing spa and lunch at the deli cafe, and not forgetting the spacious bathroom in our room.
A party atmosphere or any bargains!
Stayed on 6 Jun 2019
Absolutely loved the estate. The service is impeccable, the staff are very friendly and helpful and the food is exceptional.
Stayed on 29 Mar 2019
Our stay at Beaverbrook has been one of the most memorable stays ever. We cannot fault it in any way: the facilities, level of service, the home away from home feeling and sense of history and luxury is so far unrivalled. We can't wait to return - utterly sublime!
Anything less than perfection.
Stayed on 22 Mar 2019
Lovely setting and exceptional service from everybody at the hotel. The stay made my birthday special we will certainly return and recommend it to family and friends.
Stayed on 2 Dec 2018
From the moment we arrived we felt completely at home – it was like being invited to the most incredible house party (and in your dreams you are the host!). We ensconced ourselves in front of the roaring fire on the most comfortable sofas, sipped our tea and feasted on the complimentary mince pies and afternoon cake, then escaped to the Garden House where we were staying to get ready for the evening. The Garden house has a far more cottage feel in comparison to the grand main house. Our room was well fitted out with twin beds and a good size ensuite. Our Mr & Mrs Smith Champagne was waiting along with a whole complimentary bottle of Sip Smith Sloe gin; out on the landing were full tea and coffee making facilities, festive mince pies, clementines and whisky (in case we weren't on our knees are the champers and gin!). We kicked off with incredible Spitfire Collins in the sumptuous Parrot Bar before heading into the Japanese Restaurant for supper. The food that arrived was delicious little platters of Japanese heaven. Retiring to the drawing room for coffees and liquers made it feel even more like a house party where we could kick off our heels, enjoy the roaring fire and finish the evening perfectly. Then we were whisked back to the Garden House on the Beaver Bus thank goodness for the rugs and a nippy driver as it was rather chilly!! The beds were so comfy and we woke up to beautiful views across the vegetable garden. Breakfast was delicious, although I don't think we would have the Kale Juice again, not great in taste or smell, but I wish I could have the amazing porridge every morning and the Garden Room restaurant is sun filled and beautifully decorated. It was such a wrench to get into my car and drive home, we loved our stay, the staff were so attentive and we were never waiting for anything. Sadly we tried to get a look around the spa but they had only opened to members the day before so this was not possible but hopefully a good reason to return in 2019! A truly English Country House Hotel to which we can't wait to return.
Lively nightlife. The lighting was not great for makeup application. I thought some of the portions were small for the amount you pay – especially the fish main course, which if my memory is right literally came with the fillet of fish and nothing else. In the Garden House the doors of our neighbours and the housekeepers cupboard opposite did not make for the quietest morning; this is where the Garden House probably differs from the main as everything is in a lot closer proximity with tiny corridors.
Stayed on 22 Nov 2018
The room decor, the amazing Japanese food, the friendly service.
Stayed on 9 Aug 2018
We loved the grand and bucolic setting, the utterly tasteful interior design loaded with historical references and objects, the library for those who appreciate a good book, the overall friendly and unpretentious approach from the staff and last, but not least, the excellent food in the restaurants.
Stayed on 31 Jul 2018
The beautiful building, rooms and grounds and the food and wine in the Garden House. The cocktails at the Parrot Bar are also not to be missed. We followed the bridle-path down to the start of the National Trust's 10 mile Box Hill Hike and spent a sunny day taking in some amazing views of the area and beautiful woodland with a well deserved final mile pint at the friendly Running Horse pub.
Stayed on 17 Jun 2018
What an utterly fabulous hotel! In many ways, this is our new favourite place of all the hotels we have stayed in recently (including Cliveden and Ballyfin) and we travel extensively around the world every year and always aim to stay in the top hotels after conducting extensive research. My wife found Beaverbrook totally by chance when looking for a heritage hotel and it exceeded our already high expectations. As a newly opened hotel, it is probably still under most people's radar, but it won't remain that way for long. We stayed with two small children in the Elizabeth Taylor suite and my father in the Charlie Chaplin room. The Elizabeth Taylor suite was not the biggest suite we have stayed in but is magnificent with a lovely balcony and superb bathroom with top quality finishing throughout the suite and wonderful furnishing. Apparently the same interior designer was employed as for Soho House and every detail has been nailed, from the curtains to the wall paper which both would have cost a small fortune. The main house itself is exquisitely furnished to the very highest standard, giving the property an extremely cosy and unstuffy feel akin to a sumptuous home rather than a hotel. For us, the contrast with Ballyfin was noticeable, given that hotel was rated recently by Conde Nast as the best new hotel in the world. Notwithstanding impressively renovated communal rooms, Ballyfins environment was not relaxing for us whereas we immediately felt comfortable in Beaverbrook and want to return. We loved every room in The House; the lounge, the library, the bar (which serves excellent cocktails), the restaurant, the expansive staircase. On top of this, the gardens and surrounding countryside are beautiful and there was also a great childrens tree house and play area. We spoke to the estate manager Ed, who is an engaging young man and impressed us very much; an excellent choice as estate manager. He mentioned that the new spa will be opened soon (it looks like it will be extensive) and with additional accommodation also being built Beaverbrook should be even better by the end of 2018. As we were staying on Monday we were initially disappointed that we wouldnt be unable to experience Beaverbrooks Japanese restaurant, which is closed on Mondays, given the superb reviews. Instead, we had dinner in The Garden House restaurant. What a treat! The quality and precision of cooking is of the very highest standard and the setting borders perfection. We enjoyed our dinner and the relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant immensely and Im sure, if the restaurant was nearby we would be frequent visitors. It isnt cheap but high quality rarely is. I will be writing a separate review just for the restaurant as it merits it. I think the kitchen team in The Garden House are culinary superstars. In summary, in our opinion this hotel can easily can easily take top spot from Ballyfin and Cliveden in the Conde Nast best hotel category. One thing to improve is guest welcome on arrival as there was no one there when we arrived at the hotel.
Stayed on 11 Jun 2018
Great hotel! So relaxing and peaceful.
Stayed on 26 May 2018
Great place close to London and already so far from the rush... Garden house was just a great place – their staff were very helpful.
Quiet place – no crazy evenings but that was not the point of our stay.
Stayed on 20 May 2018
The high-spec interior design and decor (the attention to detail and the quality is immaculate). The food and the dinner we had in the Japanese – some of the best sushi we've ever eaten (and we've been to some good places in the past). The dessert platter was a feast for the eyes and had some really refined flavours. The personal attention and personable demeanour of the hotel manager, who took active interest in all of the guests. A very well presented and passionate lady who knew a lot about the history of the manor.
The staff on the check-out desk in the garden house weren't as slick as they could have been and didn't notice that we'd been charged twice for dinner.
Stayed on 17 Mar 2018
Everything was wonderful. The staff were all lovely and very helpful, the food was outstanding and we also loved the decor of the whole place. We will definitely return, especially when the spa is open.
BySuzanna , BlackSmith
Stayed on 15 Feb 2018
Lord Beaverbrook had a good eye for a country house. The former Cherkley Court has beautifully proportioned rooms, splendid fireplaces, a magnificent staircase and massive windows from which to enjoy the Surrey Downs. He'd probably approve of the renovations. All is discreet luxury, and there are pictures and memorabilia on loan from the Beaverbrook Foundation, so you are gently reminded of its remarkable history - Beaverbrook was at the centre of British political life for decades. Rooms are named after former guests, such as Churchill and Asquith. A pity, though, that the new owners have overlooked his close friendships with leading Labour figures. You won't find a Bevan or a Foot room here, despite their frequent visits. Still, at least this hotel has captured the spirit of Beaverbrook's legendary hospitality. Guests announce themselves to the porter at the main gate, then drive up to the house where staff greet them warmly by name and whisk their car and luggage away. Our superior turret room (W Somerset Maugham) in the main house was so comfortable I could have happily spent a week holed up there. Decorated, Soho House style, in modern chintz, it had Melin Tregwynt blankets, a decked balcony with table and chairs, and a luxurious bathroom spread out under the eaves. Worth venturing out, though, for the well-executed Japanese food at dinner and the glories of the Parrot Bar. Bar a few glitches in the service – the staff were delightful, but lacked direction – this is a genuinely special experience. The history is palpable but it's not a museum piece. Rather, it's so warm and vibrant that you half expect Lord Beaverbrook to walk in, chewing on a cigar and berating a lowly editor (there is a framed example of his ascorbic proofreading up on the wall, and his desk survives in the library). We were shown Churchill's suite, with his original bath and decidedly grand toilet. It's hard to believe he would not be equally at home there today. We loved: Grade A comfort, well-plumped cushions, the scent of log fires, a blissful night's sleep, the fact that it felt luxurious yet lived in
Don't expect: the flexibility you get in modern country house hotels such as Babington, a generous breakfast buffet, copies of the Guardian on the newspaper rack
Stayed on 19 Jan 2018
The location itself, the decor and the cinema that can be hired! The food is great too, especially the Japanese restaurant.